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Saturday, April 25, 2015

You got problems Mike Quinones, and Clancy Imislund, members of the Midtown Cult, Atlantic Group and Pacific Group cults!

As well as the Pacific Group, AG is linked to the abusive Midtown Group. Members now sit among us at more regular AA meetings. They have many tell-tale signs. One is that they call themselves “recovered alcoholics,” referring to the first hundred members of AA who described themselves as such, and forgetting that of those hundred at least 70 died drunk. When they speak at a meeting they always say, “My sponsor has a sponsor who has a sponsor who took him through the Steps as laid out in the Big Book.” They speak of being “God-powered,” of being “an alcoholic of the hopeless and doomed variety,” as if there were any other kind. They openly sneer at the oldest of AA notions—"Just don't drink and go to meetings,"—though for many alcoholics, myself included, that is often all that a newcomer can focus on. They use the phrase, “You’re not really sober if...“ and talk of being “transformed.” (Cue their nickname: “The Transformers.")

The creepiness of this approach came to an inevitable point in 2007, when the Washington Post and Newsweek reported on the Midtown Group—the Washington DC AA group led by Michael Quinones. According to police reports and press interviews, Quinones was a grand-sponsor who strongly discouraged members from seeking psychiatric help or taking anti-depressants. They did, however, encourage underage female members to sleep with middle-aged male members, including Quinones. The group was also known as The Q Group, after their leader. After the allegations came to light, several of the churches hosting their meetings ended their arrangements. It was a shocking story of sexual predation.

A remark from the man who sponsored Quinones was telling. According to the Washington Post, Clancy Imislund, managing director of Midnight Mission in LA, spoke directly about the situation. “There probably have been some excesses,” he said, “but they have helped more sober alcoholics in Washington than any other group by far.” Note that last jab at other AA meetings, and the shrug about what, in his state, would be legally considered statutory rape.

He continued, “It had been an issue [the sexual exploitation of teenage girls] but wherever you have a lot of young, neurotic people, they’re going to cling to each other.” Note the fault of those “young, neurotic people,” also known as newcomers seeking experience, strength and hope.

That Clancy, of course, is the same man who told a trembling newcomer at that packed AG meeting to “Shut up, Bitch.”

Amid all this ugliness, superiority and ego gratification, it’s helpful to return to AA’s history, the implementation of the traditions and concepts to ward off such aberrations of AA and to bear in mind that the founders, while very much human, knew what they were doing.

The last time Bill Wilson visited Dr. Bob, before he died, Bob’s final words to him were, “Let’s not louse this thing up. Let’s keep it simple.”
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